2012 AZBio Fast Lane Award Winner - Ulthera
Beauty and Growth – Ulthera, Inc
Ulthera’s mission is to work with physicians to provide therapeutic ultrasound to improve the appearance and health of patients worldwide. The company is not only defined by its proprietary technology, but also its people. Ulthera’s team consists of experts in their respective fields who are aligned by the strength of the company’s mission and its leadership.Ulthera was founded in 2004 to leverage seven years of prior scientific research in therapeutic ultrasound for aesthetic and medical applications. In 2009, the Ulthera® System received FDA approval in the United States and is the first and only energy-based device to receive FDA clearance for a non-invasive aesthetic lift indication. The first application for Ultherapy® – the procedure enabled by the System – is a non-invasive treatment of the face to achieve a brow lift. Ulthera’s robust scientific foundation and relentless pursuit of superior clinical outcomes have resulted in the rapid global uptake of the Ulthera platform. As Ulthera continues to develop and provide more applications for its platform, the company also remains committed to bringing value to physicians and their patients.In 2006, Matt Likens was hired as President and CEO of Ulthera by founder and owner Michael Slayton, Ph. D, with the expectation of obtaining FDA approval for Ulthera’s product and service (known as Ultherapy) within three months. Less than two years into his tenure at Ulthera, Matt found himself navigating this venture capital backed start-up though the worst economic downtown since the Great Depression. The Company also found itself facing an increasing skeptical and less commercially friendly US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regime. With both of these risks significantly threatening the Company’s viability, Matt decided to change the Company’s regulatory pathway and focus by obtaining CE Mark from the European Union prior to obtaining FDA clearance. If this bet paid off, Ulthera’s regulatory runway would be significantly reduced and the Company would be able to generate sales in the European market. These revenues would also allow the Company to lessen the need to obtain additional venture capital financing thus reducing additional dilution to the Company’s current shareholders. While risky, the core of this decision was based on the multinational experience Likens attained at Baxter and his general entrepreneurial nature. The bet ultimately paid off. Today, Ulthera is a global, growth-stage medical device company pioneering aesthetic and medical applications using its therapeutic ultrasound platform technology. More than 1,000 Ulthera Systems have been sold globally while treatments performed using the System have surpassed 100,000.